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Stipa tenuissima

Feather grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Feature

Attractive seed-heads, Attractive to wildlife

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Experienced

photo by Jo Whitworth, copyright GAP Photos (223287)

Plant details

A neat, compact, perennial grass, this has lots of close-packed, stiff, thread-like stems forming a strongly horizontal shape about 60cm (2ft) tall. In summer, plants are covered with masses of elegant pale feathery seed-heads which are held a little above the foliage. These can be cut and dried when first opened for use in winter arrangements indoors. Alternatively they make a useful winter food source for finches and other seed-eating birds. Plants like a sunny well-drained spot and associate well with compact alstroemerias, rock plants and other grasses that enjoy similar growing conditions. To propagate, divide plants from mid-spring to early summer.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Stipa

Species: tenuissima

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 60cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: April to June


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